Letter: Richter aftershock

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Eugenie Samuel maintains that the measurement of earthquake intensities as so many Richters would imply a linear scale (letter, 15 September).

Yet sound intensity is quoted in decibels on a logarithmic scale so that a noise of 100 decibels appears to be twice as loud as one of 90 decibels. For that matter we quote temperatures in degrees Celsius on an apparently linear scale when it is obvious that 100 degrees is not "twice as hot" as 50 degrees.

So I repeat: why do we not quote earthquake intensities as so many Richters?